A Glen Cove man bludgeoned to death his childhood friend, hid the body in a neighbor's backyard and pawned the dead man's jewelry, authorities said Friday.
The man, Edward G. Brown, 46, confessed to the crime and led police to the body, prosecutor Martin D. Meaney said Friday in court, where Brown was ordered jailed without bail on one count of second-degree murder.
Earlier Friday, Brown apologized while police led him before reporters to his first court appearance.
"I'm sorry for what I did," Brown said when asked whether he wanted to say anything in his defense. "I'm extremely sorry."
He's accused of killing Nunzio Izzo, 56, who had epilepsy and a heart condition, on Dec. 17 during an argument. Authorities declined to say what they were arguing about.
Brown struck his victim "repeatedly about the head and face," court papers allege. He dumped the body, which he put under a tarp, in the neighbor's yard, said Det. Lt. John Azzata, head of the Nassau police homicide squad.
More than two weeks later, at 2:15 a.m. Thursday, Brown was arrested at his home, 5 Madeline Place. Izzo's body was discovered in a backyard on Dosoris Way, about 1,500 feet from the home where Brown was living, authorities said.
"The body was in a container, covered by a tarp," Azzata said. He did not elaborate.
The second-degree murder charge alleges depraved indifference. To be found guilty under that part of state law, he doesn't need to have meant to kill Izzo. Brown, who was not required Friday to enter a plea, is due back in court Tuesday.
Azzata said Brown had the dead man's rings. Meaney said Brown sold the jewelry at a pawnshop in Suffolk County. Meaney declined to say whether the jewelry was taken from the victim before, during or after the beating.
"The defendant not only sold the jewelry that the victim possessed at the pawnshop but he confessed and led them to the body of the victim," Meaney said. "And it's just a terrible, terrible crime."
The two men grew up together in Glen Cove and were longtime friends, Azzata said.
In a missing-person bulletin publicized last month, police said Izzo had last been seen at Brown's home. And to help find Izzo, his loved ones posted fliers around Glen Cove. They'd grown worried when Izzo didn't come home because he kept a strict routine and rarely left the area.
In court Friday, where Judge Christopher G. Quinn of First District Court denied Brown any bail, several of Brown's family and friends stood to show support.
"Mr. Brown is a nice guy," his cousin Anthony Leake said afterward. "A real nice guy."